Australia's Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership challenge

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership challenge

Cabinet ministers are openly admitting they are facing an outbreak of disunity as Malcolm Turnbull's supporters try to quell talk of a leadership challenge.

Mr Dutton's camp believes it could get to the 43 votes needed to oust Mr Turnbull, but the prime minister's backers says he still had majority partyroom support.

A successful challenge to Turnbull's prime ministership would have been the fifth change in national leadership since 2009, with no prime minister seeing out a full term in office since 2007.

Mr Turnbull defeated Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in a party room ballot in Canberra on Tuesday.

That aside, a string of poor public polls aren't making things any easier for Mr Turnbull.

The result is being seen as a "first strike" against the Prime Minister with a margin of victory that gives his enemies hope of gaining more numbers for a second attempt at the leadership.

All eyes this morning will be on Liberal Party MPs as they arrive to a regular meeting, where they will discuss Mr Turnbull's revamped NEG, which will no longer include a legislated 26 per cent emissions cut target.

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A report in The Australian suggests Mr Turnbull had lost confidence of nine Liberal cabinet ministers - half of the Liberal contingent.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the prime minister should call an election, if he survives the week.

'We've had a great period of stability over the past three years.

But according to the prime minister, Mr Dutton has his back.

On Monday, Mr Turnbull attempted to blunt conflict within the government by abandoning plans to set an emissions reduction target in legislation.

Even former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, a staunch critic of Mr Turnbull's direction on energy prices, has been in his corner.

Dutton put his hand up to challenge Turnbull for the top job after the PM's risky move to take control of the party.

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